Mexico's Sinaloa, Jalisco Nueva Generacion, Zetas and Beltran Leyva drug cartels are the top buyers and traffickers of cocaine produced by criminal groups in Colombia, including current and former leftist rebels, according to a high-ranking Colombian security official. The country at the northern tip of South America is one of the world's top producers of cocaine, largely consumed by customers in the United States and Europe.
On July 13, 2018, two separate groups of friends made plans to meet up that night on Saint John's boardwalk to listen to live music. Hours later, the groups would cross paths briefly, leaving one man unconscious on the pavement with a fatal head injury and another man in police custody. William Ronald Jordan, 21, is charged with manslaughter in the death of 54-year-old navy veteran Anthony Dwyer. On the second day of the trial, Marilyn Steeves, 64, testified that she met up with Dwyer and his partner, Catherine Geldart, at a pub in Petitcodiac. The couple was heading to Saint John to watch a friend perform on the boardwalk. Steeves agreed to go along and five of them piled into Dwyer's van. She said they had a pleasant evening on the boardwalk and were preparing to leave when she heard that Dwyer had been injured. Under cross-examination from defence lawyer James McConnell, Steeves said Dwyer was the kind of person to approach complete strangers and strike up a conversation. She agreed with McConnell that Dwyer also had a "strong personality" and "wouldn't hesitate to argue his point." Steeves said Dwyer had been drinking that night and that another member of their group was going to drive Dwyer's van back to Petitcodiac. Another witness, Sam Mallett, said he's best friends with Jordan. He told the jury that he joined Jordan that night and shared a joint with him and a few other people at the amphitheatre near the boardwalk. The two, along with Jack Rabb, then made their way along the boardwalk, heading to a bar for a drink. Along the way, said Mallett, they were approached by an acquaintance of Jordan's who was wearing a neck brace. The man gave them a small cigar and then moved a short distance away. Mallett said Dwyer approached soon after and asked Jordan where he got the cigar. He said Dwyer demanded it back. Jordan refused and Dwyer got more agitated, said Mallett. He said Dwyer kept getting closer to Jordan and became "more assertive." He said the exchange escalated very quickly. Jordan asked Dwyer what he was going to do about it. Mallett recalled Dwyer responded by saying that he would take his two fingers and push them into Jordan's throat — as he did just that. "It was quick, but not a jab," testified Mallett. It was at that point, he said, that Jordan swung a closed fist and punched Dwyer in the face. "I really don't think, at that point, there was anything else he could do," said Mallett. Witnesses differed on the nature of the physical contact Dwyer made. Mallet says it was pressure to the throat with two fingers, while Rabb says it was more of a jab to the throat with four straight fingers. Another man, Jeff Kyle, who watched the exchange from a nearby patio, said it was a two-handed push to the chest. But all agree that Jordan responded by punching Dwyer in the face and that he fell back and struck his head on the pavement with a sickening sound. Again, there was a difference of opinion about Jordan's punch. Some said it was a left hook to right side of Dwyer's face, others say a right hook to the left side. One said it was a left-handed punch that landed on the left side of Dwyer's face. Jordan was arrested on the boardwalk by police a short time later.His girlfriend, Sarah Taylor, testified Wednesday that she had been with Jordan on the boardwalk that night, but had parted company shortly before the incident. The two met up immediately after and Jordan told her, "I think I just knocked somebody out."She said he looked shocked and confused and that he told her the man he punched "had his hands all over me." Taylor said she was with Jordan a short time later when he was taken into police custody. Rabb, testifying by video link from his home in Ottawa, said the exchange between Dwyer and Jordan happened right in front of him. He called Dwyer a "provocateur" and said Jordan wasn't aggressive or threatening as Dwyer continued to invade his personal space. Before Dwyer made contact with Jordan, Rabb said he believed the entire exchange to be an absurd joke over "what amounted to a third-hand cigarillo" that was half-smoked by that time. Then came the "judo-chop motion" from Dwyer, said Rabb, that sent Jordan back a couple of steps and caused him to cough. He said Jordan responded with the punch to the face that appeared to knock Dwyer out immediately because he made no effort to break his fall. "He fell down like a sack of bricks," said Rabb of Dwyer. "He fell back absolutely still, like a plank, straight backward." On Tuesday, jurors heard that two emergency room nurses who happened to be on the boardwalk tended to Dwyer immediately and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. Dwyer died in hospital three days later. The trial continues Thursday morning.
WestJet says it will begin providing refunds to passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic. The Calgary-based airline said it will begin contacting all eligible flyers with WestJet and Swoop on Nov. 2. It will begin with those whose flights were cancelled in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, to offer refunds in the original form of payment.The process is expected to take six to nine months, the company said. It asked customers to wait to be contacted, in order to avoid overloading its call centre. "We are an airline that has built its reputation on putting people first," said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO, in an emailed release."We have heard loud and clear from the travelling public that in this COVID world they are looking for reassurance on two fronts: the safest possible travel environment, and refunds."Sims said in a letter posted to the company's website that since March, it has done everything it can to reduce costs in the face of a 95 per cent drop in demand. WATCH | Airlines struggle and plead for aid amid stall in travel:"Up until this point, quite plainly, the financial position of airlines around the world has been precarious," Sims said."We went 72 days in a row where cancellations outstripped bookings, something that has not happened — ever — in our almost 25-year history. Thankfully, we are seeing bookings higher than cancellations now but still at a level that sees more than 140 of the 181 aircraft in our fleet parked and more than 4,000 WestJetters permanently laid off."The company said it's the first national airline in the country to proactively begin refunding customers during the pandemic — a comment that Air Canada contested."Misleading statement! WestJet is just now catching up to our policy to refund refundable fares. We have already refunded over $1.2 billion in refundable fares to date," Air Canada wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening.Within 10 minutes of that tweet, more than a dozen replies from customers said they still had not received their refund. Air Canada said in an emailed statement that it has reimbursed refundable tickets since the start of the pandemic, and that vouchers are offered to those who have purchased non-refundable tickets. In June, both Air Canada and WestJet began offering refunds to some passengers whose flights originated outside of Canada. WestJet offered refunds on flights originating from or landing in the U.S. or U.K., and Air Canada offered refunds to those whose flights originated in the EU — but not in Canada. Air Canada made the most recent U.S. Air Travel Consumer Report, released in August, for having the most refund complaints of any foreign airline the previous month. It had 1,705 complaints, while WestJet had 346. The airline industry in Canada has lost billions due to border closures and grounded flights during COVID-19.Up until now, most Canadian airlines have offered travel vouchers to passengers with cancelled flights. The vouchers were redeemable for two years. The lack of cash refunds have led to petitions and even possible class action lawsuits against the industry. Canada's Air Passenger Protection Regulations state that if an airline is unable to provide a reasonable alternative itinerary, refunds "must be paid by the method used for the original payment and to the person who purchased the ticket or additional service."But the Canadian Transportation Agency said in April that, given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, vouchers were a reasonable alternative to refunds.WestJet's move comes days after opposition parties demanded the federal government ensure passengers receive refunds as a condition of any airline bailouts.Carriers' requests for financial assistance from Ottawa have failed to materialize in funding while the United States and some European countries have offered billions in financial aid, with strings attached including partial government ownership and emissions reduction commitments.Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau said WestJet's move was a step in the right direction."Canadians deserve refunds for cancelled trips as a result of [COVID-19]," he wrote on Twitter. Delays 'ridiculous'WestJet's website states those who cancelled their own flights or purchased basic fares will not be refunded. Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs said the six to nine months WestJet estimates it will take to process refund requests is excessive, calling it "ridiculous" and a "non-starter."He also said the refund exclusions violate consumer rights."It doesn't matter whether it was a business class elite fare or a basic fare, they have to refund it equally," Lukacs said, citing provincial legislation and regulation.WestJet had started to bleed money from advance ticket purchases even before Wednesday's announcement.Of the nearly 16,300 guests who requested chargebacks from their credit card issuers between March and Aug. 19, only 11 per cent were denied, according to an affidavit WestJet regulatory affairs director Lorne Mackenzie filed to the Federal Court in August.Certification hearings on a class action against WestJet, Air Canada and Transat AT are to begin in Federal Court on Nov. 2, the same day WestJet's policy goes into effect.
HALIFAX — The chief of the First Nation behind a disputed moderate livelihood lobster fishery in Nova Scotia says recent vandalism and the loss of potential sales have cost the band more than $1.5 million — and he wants those responsible to be held accountable.Mike Sack, chief of the Sipekne'katik First Nation, also alleged the band had been blacklisted by lobster buyers."The (non-Indigenous) commercial fishery has systematically boxed us out of the market," Sack said in a statement. "It will take time to rebuild our relationships in the supply chain of people and companies we did business with who are now rightly afraid of retaliation."Sack told reporters the band filed an application for a court injunction aimed at preventing people from harassing Indigenous fishers at the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., where the livelihood fleet is based."We want the injunction to make sure people are safe in and around the wharf," Sack told a news conference in Digby, N.S.Later Wednesday, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice James Chipman granted the interim injunction, which among other things prohibits anyone from "threatening, coercing, harassing or intimidating" band members or people doing business with them.It prohibits any interference with Sipekne'katik fishing activities, including interfering with their gear at sea or on land. The order, which is in force until Dec. 15, also says the Saulnierville wharf, another in Weymouth and a lobster pound in New Edinburgh used by the band cannot be blockaded.The First Nation attracted national attention on Sept. 17 when it launched a "moderate livelihood" fishing fleet in St. Marys Bay in southwestern Nova Scotia, almost two months before the federally regulated fishing season was set to open.Sack has said the Mi'kmaq band's members are exercising their constitutionally protected treaty right to fish where and when they want, as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in a 1999 decision.Citing treaties signed in the 1760s, the court said the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy bands in Eastern Canada can hunt, fish and gather to earn a "moderate livelihood."However, non-Indigenous protesters have asked federal authorities to stop the Indigenous harvest because the Supreme Court ruling also said Ottawa could continue to regulate the fishery — so long as it can justify such a move. The dispute has escalated into confrontations marked by violence, arrests and allegations of assault and arson. Two buildings storing lobsters caught by Indigenous harvesters were vandalized last week, and one of them was burned to the ground on Saturday.Amid rising tensions, the First Nation says it can't sell lobster caught by those taking part in its moderate livelihood fishery or the band's commercial communal operation to the east in the Bay of Fundy."It's like we've been blacklisted, and we're just hopeful that we can quickly come to some resolution and expedite getting our lobster to market," Sack said, adding that the band is also having a hard time buying new lobster traps."Pulling our commercial fishery this week and for the upcoming seasons will financially devastate our community," he said.A spokeswoman for the First Nation said the 11 boats taking part in the moderate livelihood fishery will continue to haul in their catches from Lobster Fishing Area 34 and put them in storage.However, Sack said the band's three boats used for the communal commercial fishery, which were operating in an adjacent area that opened for fishing last week, have been pulled from the water due to "intimidation and market embargoes."The chief said the three boats will be dispatched to St. Marys Bay to provide protection for the livelihood fleet. As well, he said the band is looking for a way to sell the 6,800 kilograms of lobster the band has harvested from the bay since Sept. 17.The provincial government regulates the sale of lobster by granting licences to approved lobster buyers. Sack said the band is looking for a provincial exemption, but he indicated the province wasn't in a co-operative mood."(Premier Stephen) McNeil just seems to be hiding behind the federal government," he said.Meanwhile, the RCMP continues to draw fire for their response to the violence, which included an alleged assault on Sack last week.Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in Ottawa, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki defended the police force, disputing Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller comment Monday that the Mounties had "let down" Indigenous people."We are fully committed to keeping the peace, keeping people safe and enforcing the law," she said. "Our actions to date are indicative of our strong commitment to this mandate." Lucki confirmed additional officers from the other Maritime provinces had been dispatched to Nova Scotia: "When we saw that this situation was evolving, we felt that there was a need to bring in additional resources."Senator Murray Sinclair, who was chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said Wednesday he was dismayed by the RCMP's lack of enforcement in Nova Scotia.During an online conversation with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the senator criticized the RCMP for "literally standing by and doing nothing" while criminal acts were being committed."To me, (it) was an act of negligence," Sinclair said, adding that he had submitted a complaint to the RCMP's complaints commission. "They were in fact facilitating the actions of the (non-Indigenous) fishers."On another front, Mi'kmaq leaders in Cape Breton are accusing the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans of illegally removing lobster traps set recently in St. Peters Bay. The 200 traps were placed in the bay as part of a similar moderate livelihood fishery, which is also operating outside the federally regulated season."The seizure of these traps by local officers are without the authorization or authority of their department or the minister," the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs said in a statement. "This is unacceptable and unlawful."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
Provincial police say they have found the body of a GTA man missing in Chemong Lake since the weekend after a boat with four people in it capsized while fishing off the shores of Curve Lake First Nation. The initial incident occurred in the early morning hours on Oct. 18, according to the OPP's Peterborough County detachment.Three people, one man and two females, were rescued that same day by police with the help of residents from the area.The man pulled from the water later died in hospital. He was identified as 48-year-old Wei Liu of Scarborough. One of the females sustained life-threatening injuries while the other was treated for minor injuries, police said. No further details, like their ages, were provided.Then, in the afternoon on Oct. 21, OPP said they had found the second man, who was still missing from the incident. He was recovered by the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit and was pronounced dead at the scene.He was identified as 52-year-old Lie Cao of Markham."The Peterborough County OPP thanks the community members of Curve Lake First Nation for their support and assistance during this tragic accident," a news release issued Wednesday night said.
PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron promised Wednesday that France will not renounce freedoms taught by a schoolteacher beheaded by a radical Islamist last week after showing caricatures of the prophet of Islam to his class. At a national memorial at the Sorbonne University in central Paris, Macron praised history teacher Samuel Paty as the “face of the Republic” who “believed in knowledge.” Paty, 47, was murdered on Friday by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin who had become radicalized. He was in turn shot dead by police. “Samuel Paty ... became the face of the Republic, of our will to shatter terrorists, to (do away with) Islamists, to live like a community of free citizens in our country," Macron said. “We will continue." A ceremonial military guard carried the teacher's coffin into the cobblestone courtyard of the Sorbonne where the memorial took place before his family, government members and select guests. A giant screen was installed outside. The stirring ceremony, with readings that included a poem by Albert Camus to his own teacher, came hours after the prosecutor sketched out how the teenager came to kill Paty, with the suspected help of two young students at the school in a northwest Paris suburb. Jean-Francois Ricard said a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old are among seven people taken before an investigating magistrate on accusations of “complicity in murder in relation with a terrorist undertaking” and “criminal conspiracy.” The killer offered students at the school where Paty taught 300-350 euros ($355-$415) to help him pick out the educator, Ricard said during a news conference. “The investigation has established that the perpetrator knew the name of the teacher, the name of the school and its address, yet he did not have the means to identify him," the prosecutor said. "That identification has only been possible with the help of students from the same school.” He said the implication of the two young adolescents “appeared to be conclusive.” Authorities have identified the killer as Abdoullakh Anzorov., a Moscow-born Chechen refugee. Anzorov claimed responsibility in a text accompanied by a photograph of the victim found on his phone. The other suspects include a student's father who posted videos on social media that called for mobilization against the teacher and an Islamist activist who helped the man disseminate the virulent messages, which named Paty and gave the school's address, Ricard said. Two more men, aged 18 and 19, are accused of accompanying the attacker when he bought the weapons, including a knife and an airsoft gun, the prosecutor said. One of them allegedly drove Anzorov, who lived in the Normandy town of Evreux about 90 kilometres (56 miles) away, to near the school about three hours before the killing. Another 18-year-old suspect had close contacts with the attacker and endorsed radical Islamism, Ricard said. All three of them, who were friends of Anzorov, allegedly said that "he was ‘radicalizing’ for several months, marked by a change of behaviour, physical appearance, isolation, an assiduous frequentation of the mosque and ambiguous remarks about Jihad and the Islamic State group.” “Samuel Paty was the victim of a conspiracy of stupidity, hate, lies ... hate of the other ... hate of what we profoundly are," Macron said during his speech, which blended honours to the victim and the teaching profession with his government's efforts to root out Islamist radicals. On Wednesday morning, the French government issued an order to dissolve a domestic militant Islamic group, the Collective Cheikh Yassine. Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said it was “implicated, linked to Friday’s attack” and it was used to promote anti-republican hate speech. Other groups will be dissolved “in the coming weeks” for similar reasons, Attal said. Named after a slain leader of the Palestinian Hamas, Collective Cheikh Yassine was founded in the early 2000s by the Islamist activist who is among the seven people accused of being accomplices to the attacker. Attal also confirmed that the government ordered a mosque in the northeast Paris suburb of Pantin to close for six months. The Pantin mosque is being punished for relaying the angry father’s message on social media. Authorities say it has long had an imam following the Salafist path, a rigorous interpretation of the Muslim holy book. A national memorial event is scheduled to be held Wednesday evening in the courtyard of the Sorbonne university. ___ Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report. Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press
The Alberta government says rapid COVID-19 tests will soon be available at the Calgary airport and a United States border crossing in the province. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says if travellers take the tests, they will not have to quarantine for the required 14 days. The number of COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities across Canada is still rising.
Rudy Giuliani is shown with his hand down his pants after flirting with an actress playing a young woman pretending to be a television journalist in a scene in Sacha Baron Cohen's latest mockumentary, a sequel to his hit “Borat” film. The scene shot in a New York hotel room in July — which resulted in Giuliani calling police — includes a moment when Giuliani is seen lying on a bed with his shirt untucked and his hand down his pants with the young woman nearby. Giuliani went to the hotel room thinking he was being interviewed about the Trump administration's COVID-19 response.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority released another list Wednesday of places where people likely infectious with COVID-19 had visited. The SHA releases such information when it doesn't know if it have contacted everyone who may have come into contact with the likely infectious person. Anyone who was at any of the locations on the specific dates and times is asked to self-monitor for 14 days. If people have had or develop symptoms of COVID-19, they should immediately self-isolate and call HealthLine 811 or their family doctor to arrange for testing. Regina * Atlas Hotel Swimming Pool, 4177 Albert Street. * Oct. 13 from 7 to 8 p.m. CST * Regina Transit Route 3 (University - Sherwood Estates) from the University of Regina bus stop to Halifax Street and College Avenue, then Route 2 (Argyle Park - Wood Meadows) from the Halifax Street and College Avenue stop to the Victoria Square Mall. * Oct. 14 from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. CST * Regina Transit Route 2 (Argyle Park - Wood Meadows) from Victoria Square Mall to Broad Street and 14th Avenue, then Route 3 (University - Sherwood Estates) from Broad Street and 14th Avenue to the University of Regina bus stop. * * Oct. 14 from 7:45 to 9 p.m. CST.Saskatoon * Walmart Supercentre, 1706 Preston Avenue . * Oct. 9 from 6 to 7 p.m. CST * Oct. 14 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. CST * Costco, 115 Marquis Drive. * Oct. 10 from 10 to 11 a.m. CST * Mark's Work Wearhouse, 1715 Preston Avenue N. * Oct. 12 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. CST * Motion Fitness Brighton,153 Gibson Bend. * Oct. 13. from 12 to 4 p.m. CST * Oct. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. CST * City Centre Bingo, 310 22nd Street W. * Oct. 13 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. CST * Red Lobster, 2501 Eighth Street E. * Oct. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. CST * Earl's Kitchen and Bar, 610 Second Ave N. * Oct. 16 from 10 to 11 p.m. CSTYorkton * Burger King, 212 Broadway Street E. * Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST * Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST * Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST * Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST * Oct. 12 from 12 to 8 p.m. CST * Oct 14 from 2 to 10:30 p.m. CST * Oct 16 from 5 to 10:30 p.m. CST * Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST * Oct. 18 from 3 to 10:30 p.m. CSTPrince Albert * Co-op Home and Agro, 275 38th Street E. * Oct. 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. CST * Dollarama, 2995 Second Avenue W. * Oct. 11 from 4 to 5 p.m. CST * Kinsmen Park playground, 2660 Central Avenue. * Oct. 11 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. CST * A&W, Marquis and Sixth Avenue E. * Oct. 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. CST * Burger King, 3220 Second Avenue W. * Oct. 13 from 12 to 1 p.m. CST * Value Village, 380-800 15th Street E. * Oct. 13 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. CST * Edo, 801 15th Street East. * Oct. 13 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. CST * Walmart, 800 15th Street E. * Oct. 14 from 2 to 3 p.m. CST * Fitness for 10, 142 South Industrial Drive. * Oct. 14 from 9 to 10 a.m. CST * Oct. 15 from 9 to 10 a.m. CST * Co-op Cornerstone Pharmacy, 777 15th Street E. * Oct. 15 at an unknown time * Montana's Restaurant, 3145 Second Avenue W. * Oct. 15 from 9 to 10 p.m. CST * Bugsy's Bar, 2995 Second Avenue W. * Oct. 15 from 10 to 11 p.m. CSTCandle Lake * C and S Service. * Oct. 17 from 12 to 3 p.m. CSTKelvington * Kelvington Co-op Grocery Store, 211 First Avenue W. * Oct. 10 from 4 to 4:30 p.m. CST * PharmaChoice Drug Store, 206 Main Street. * Oct. 13 from 12 to 12:30 p.m. CST * Red Apple, 114 Main Street. * Oct. 16 from 4 to 4:30 p.m. CST Osler * Northway Surplus Direct Sales, 610 Service Road. * Oct. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. CSTThe SHA also ssued corrections for the communities of Beauval and Esterhazy. It said two exposures were previously communicated with the incorrect dates. The correct dates are as follows: Beauval * Amy's Bar and Motel, Beauval Forks. * Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST * Oct. 17 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. CST Esterhazy * Underground Fitness, 302 Kennedy Drive. * Oct. 3 from 5 to 8 a.m. CST * Oct. 5 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. CST * Oct. 6 from 5 to 8 a.m. CST * Oct. 8 from 5 to 8 a.m. CST * Oct. 9 from 5 to 8 a.m. CST * Oct. 10 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. CST * Oct. 11 from 5 to 8 a.m. CST
IQALUIT, Nunavut — Health care, housing and internet access for Inuit in Nunavut all lag far behind what a majority of Canadians expect for themselves, says a new report. The 300-page document was commissioned by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the land-claim organization that represents Inuit in the territory, to measure the difference in infrastructure between Nunavut and the rest of Canada. "The infrastructure gap directly contributes to poverty and lowers the quality of life for Nunavut Inuit. It is felt in food insecurity, overcrowded housing and limited economic opportunity," the report says.It says 14 per cent of Nunavut residents have a regular health-care provide compared with 85 per cent of Canadians. It also points out that 67 per cent of Canada's electricity is produced by renewable resources, while all of Nunavut's electricity comes from diesel. Just over 40 per cent of Nunavut's homes require major repairs compared with a seven per cent Canadian average, the report notes.And Nunavut is the only province or territory without residential access to broadband delivered by fibre cable. That also means it has the slowest download speeds in the country. The gap will continue to get worse unless major investments are made, the report says.Aluki Kotierk, Nunavut Tunngavik's president, says Nunavut's infrastructure deficit has frequently been discussed at local and federal levels, but what that gap looks like has not always been clear."Infrastructure is something that is consistently raised when we have meetings with federal ministers ... But how do we move this forward rather than continue to always talk about how there’s an infrastructure gap in Nunavut?" Kotierk told The Canadian Press in an interview. The report, which was completed done between July 2019 and last June, analyzes existing data and includes 21 interviews with policy-makers and stakeholders. It identifies 18 priority areas and uses 55 indicators to compare Nunavut's infrastructure to the rest of Canada's.Kotierk says the report not only shows the gaps between what Inuit "grow up with" and "what other Canadians expect and take for granted," but also provides information to public policy officials "to see where the gap is rather than having it as a theoretical reference."She hopes it will support Nunavummiut to advocate for what they need at all levels of government."Growing up in our communities, if you’ve never lived anywhere else ... what you grow up with you think is normal. It’s only when you start understanding that others have it better that you realize we are we not afforded the same kind of standards and expectations that other Canadians can enjoy.” Kotierk says the report will help Nunavut's federal and territorial partners develop a new collective understanding of the infrastructure Nunavut needs to meet the expectations of Inuit."It’s easy to characterize Indigenous peoples or stereotype Indigenous peoples as people who are always complaining, and always whining for things, and always wanting money for other things."We wanted it to be clear that we are not asking for anything above or beyond what other Canadians enjoy. All we are merely expecting is to get to the same level playing field as other Canadians.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.--- This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship Emma Tranter, The Canadian Press
Despite fines, sanctions and a door-to-door campaign, some Acadia University students are still flouting public health rules and Wolfville, N.S., bylaws. Last weekend's homecoming and the days leading up to it saw more incidents of physical distancing, liquor and noise violations. Five people were charged on Oct. 15 when police responded to reports of a gathering of over 30 people at a house party on Prospect Street. Provincial pandemic rules limit social gatherings without physical distancing to 10 people.They were charged for failing to comply with a direction, order or requirement under the Emergency Management Act, which outlines regulations for the current state of emergency.Five people at the party were fined $697.50. The homeowner was charged under a town bylaw for allowing excessive noise.More people were ticketed over the weekend.Fourteen were issued tickets for the illegal possession of liquor. Two people were fined $582.50 for violations of the Emergency Management Act and another was fined $1,000 for failing to comply with provisions of the Health Protection Act, which outlines regulations related to health emergencies. A police spokesperson said all those charged or fined were between the ages of 19 and 22.In late September, Nova Scotia RCMP issued 27 Liquor Act tickets and two noise bylaw tickets over the course of one weekend. At least two students in the town were sanctioned earlier in the month for failing to self-isolate after travelling to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic bubble. In response to a query from CBC News, Acadia University said it was made aware of gatherings in the last week that exceeded the maximum permitted under public health guidelines. It said students who violate public health directives will be subject to sanctions under the university's code of conduct. The university said it has worked with local residents, the students union and the town to create a safe and welcoming in-person educational environment. "Poor conduct by a few selfish individuals acting in violation of the Health Protection Act puts that experience at risk for everyone," the university said.MORE TOP STORIES
The Royal Canadian Legion's annual poppy campaign won't be quite the same this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Poppies will still be available at retail locations, such as grocery stores, and volunteers will still be around to provide the symbols of remembrance in the weeks leading up to Nov. 11, Remembrance Day.But Jack Clayton, the executive director of the legion's New Brunswick command, said some changes have been made to make the process safer during the pandemic."We have to come up with ways, for example, of sanitizing, safe distancing, the handling of the poppies themselves," Clayton told the CBC's Maritime Noon. "We're trying to encourage the public to do that themselves, instead of the poppy volunteers sitting at the tables standing up and handing them the poppies."Clayton said this could mean that the presentation of poppies at stores may look different.For example, a legion branch volunteer may use an old Styrofoam cross, normally used at cenotaphs, to hold poppies for people to remove on their own.In many cases, the more traditional trays of poppies will still be available but with stricter sanitizing procedures."The volunteers have their own tray, so there's not a whole bunch of people handling different trays," said Clayton. He said the annual poppy campaign has already seen a drop in sales because many small businesses that would normally buy wreaths and crosses for local cenotaphs can't afford to this year.He is also expecting that with fewer people coming into stores, the annual campaign won't raise as much."Even though people have to wear masks going into public places now, the volume of people going into them is down," he said."You can see that yourself as you go through, say, a grocery store. ... You don't see the lineups at the cash registers."Money from the poppy campaign doesn't go directly to local legion branches but to a larger poppy campaign fund.This money is used for a variety of programs, such as bursaries for students, repairs to home-care facilities, and disaster relief funding.Clayton said some local branches are facing hardship because they lost revenue during the pandemic.Many branches weren't able to rent halls out for weddings or other events during the summer.While branches can't use poppy campaign money for their operations, they have found other ways to raise money, such as by selling face masks.
A few dozen community members of the Potlotek First Nation gathered Wednesday in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans building in Lennox Passage, N.S., seeking the return of seized lobster traps.In a statement, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs said DFO seized more than 200 legal traps from Mi'kmaw fishers.Bernadette Marshall of the Potlotek First Nation said the group gathered at the DFO office not only to get their traps back, but to show the department what it did was wrong."It took us 21 years to wait for our government to develop a plan and they never did, so now it's in our court and our fishermen from Potlotek are going to continue to fish," said Marshall.The group peacefully rallied while holding signs of support and waving Mi'kmaq flags. Some RCMP officers were on the scene watching, but no one from DFO responded to the gathering.Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton marked Treaty Day this year by launching its own Mi'kmaq-regulated rights-based lobster fishery.Marshall said the fishers do not want conflict, they only want their traps back."Return our traps, leave us alone, let us fish, and give us a chance," said Marshall. "We're only a percentage — a small percentage, if not a fraction of the percentage — of fishermen that are out there."Stephen Bornais, a DFO spokesperson, confirmed Tuesday that fishery officers were "engaged in active operations" on St. Peters Bay on Saturday.He declined to say if any traps were seized, saying the department could not provide further details on an ongoing operational activity.Mi'kmaw fishers were still operating out of the wharf at St. Peters canal while the rally went on Wednesday. The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs set up an emergency command centre on site for anyone who wanted to support the fishers with new traps or funds.'Let's put this to rest'Chief Wilbert Marshall of the Potlotek First Nation said DFO explained the traps were seized because there were too many in the water. He said that was new information to the fishers, who are worried the situation could escalate."Our guys aren't going to back down out there. I said to the guys, "Be careful and don't do nothing irrational,'" he said. "The last thing we want to do is get hurt or even charged."In recent weeks, a moderate livelihood fishery launched in St. Marys Bay by the Sipekne'katik First Nation has faced tense and sometimes violent opposition from non-Indigenous commercial fishery workers.A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge issued a temporary court injunction Wednesday to end blockades, interference and threats against Sipekne'katik band members lobster fishing in southwest Nova Scotia.Chief Terry Paul of the Membertou First Nation, co-chair and fishing lead with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs, issued a statement Monday that called on DFO to stop the seizure of authorized fishing gear and the harassment of authorized fishers. Chief Marshall said fishers from his community have received threats, including being told their boats are going to be burned or their traps will be cut. He said he is disappointed that Mi'kmaw fishers are being harassed. "Let's put this to rest. Let's fix this," he said. "We're not going to stop fishing. We're going to keep fishing and there's no doubt there."WATCH | Sproul speaks before the Fisheries and Oceans Committee:Colin Sproul, president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association, which represents 200 fishing family businesses along Nova Scotia's Fundy coast, told a parliamentary committee Wednesday evening that the politicization of how the fishery is managed is to blame for the current crisis."The problems in St. Mary's Bay have been caused in Ottawa, not in our fishing communities of Nova Scotia," Sproul said. The association, he said, "respects Indigenous fishery access rights and we condemn explicitly all acts of violence in the fishery."Sproul told MPs on the Fisheries and Oceans Committee that in his youth he watched as stocks collapsed when fisheries were managed by political objectives rather than being guided by principles of conservation and science. "What this evidence is, is how important it is for all people who participate in commercial fisheries to operate under one set of rules," he said. "Currently I see the re-entry of politics into fisheries management in Nova Scotia. And I don't want those outcomes for my community and I don't want them for Indigenous communities."
WASHINGTON, Wash. — Viewers might be watching television through their fingers Thursday night — not the latest gory Halloween thriller, but the two men vying to be the next president of the United States. It's the sequel to last month's debate horror show between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, an invective-laced 90 minutes that laid bare the depths to which political discourse can sink in an American election year. Even superfans of the genre are nervous. "I watched last time, and I'll be honest with you, I didn't make it through the debate," said Will Stewart, a senior vice-president with Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Toronto and self-described political junkie who has worked in Ontario conservative politics. "Normally it's Super Bowl weekend for people like me to watch the U.S. presidential debate. And I couldn't even watch it." This time, the audience won't be the only ones hovering over the mute button. To ensure both candidates get at least some time to speak uninterrupted, the Commission on Presidential Debates will turn off the opposing candidate's microphone for two minutes at the start of each 15-minute segment. The debate, which is at Belmont University in Tennessee, will be moderated by NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker. Topics include American families, race relations, climate change, national security and leadership. The focus, however, will be squarely on the president. During last month's clash in Ohio, Trump interrupted, antagonized and irritated his Democratic rival from the outset, vexing moderator Chris Wallace and eliciting an exasperated plea for order from Biden himself: "Will you shut up, man?" And that was only the first 15 minutes. This time, Biden would do well to ignore the president's "buzz saw" approach, or at least find a way to short-circuit it, said Stewart, who is no stranger to the rituals of debate prep. "He needs to figure out a way to dismiss Donald Trump, to push him aside," Stewart said. Sinking to the president's level would be the wrong approach. "(Biden) is the front-runner, he is winning this. He needs to assure people that he's presidential material at this point." Experts say Trump may have created an opening for himself by taking expectations of his performance so low, it would be easy to exceed them. Low expectations can be a huge advantage, said Dwight Duncan, a former Liberal cabinet minister in Ontario who helped Dalton McGuinty and Justin Trudeau practise for the most important debates of their careers. He recalled how, early in the 2015 campaign that put Trudeau in the Prime Minister's Office, Conservative spokesman Kory Teneycke suggested all the Liberal leader needed to do to exceed expectations was show up with pants on. The next day, during a full-on dress rehearsal complete with cameras, microphones and various Liberal operatives standing in for the other party leaders, Trudeau decided to lighten the mood. "We were all getting ready, and the prime minister comes walking out with his pants off, and boxer shorts," Duncan laughed. "It was just an example of, you know, he was so ready and so relaxed that day." Of course, just because Trump might be capable of exceeding expectations doesn't mean he will. "This is his last chance, in my view, to stay competitive, and so there's a much greater onus on him to do better," Duncan said. "I can see him, if they turn the mic off, just shouting over the mic or even walking off the stage. I mean, what's to prevent him? He's got nothing to lose right now at this point." Gerald Butts, Trudeau's former principal secretary and another veteran of debate prep and election strategizing, agreed Trump has an opportunity Thursday to surprise people. Whether he will is another matter. "I expect to see Trump very aggressive, fighting like someone who is behind in the polls and knows he needs to make up ground," Butts said. "I expect to see Biden try to be consistent with the person has been throughout the campaign. If polls are to be believed, he's in a good spot going into the last couple of weeks of the campaign, and I think his challenge is to continue to project empathy and confidence." It's also safe to assume there will be more spectacle than substance on display Thursday night. Oddsmakers are taking advantage. Online betting site Betonline.ag is giving odds on everything from whether the candidates will be seen wearing face masks to which familiar catchphrases or folksy bromides will be uttered first. Fans of The Fly — the one that buzzed Mike Pence, not the Jeff Goldblum remake — might be interested to know that if an insect interrupts the proceedings, they can place a prop bet on whose head it lands on first. Trump is favoured. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020. James McCarten, The Canadian Press
As the federal government puts together its pandemic recovery, feeding Canadians more sustainably should be at the heart of its plans, according to a coalition of leading Canadian environmental organizations. Last week, the Green Budget Coalition released recommendations for the federal government to use in implementing throne speech commitments to a green recovery. Sustainable agriculture and fisheries play a key role in the plan, with proposals aimed at everything from increasing pollinator habitats on farms to spearheading community-led fisheries programs. “Within our political system, there are embedded structures and ideologies and policy agendas that are sometimes hard to shift,” said Abra Brynne, a B.C. food systems policy specialist who was not involved in writing the recommendations. “These kinds of initiatives are really important for shaking up (the status quo) a bit and presenting new ideas.” About eight per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions came from farms in 2018, making it the sector with the sixth-largest carbon footprint in the country, according to Statistics Canada. Most originated from cattle, degraded soils and the excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer. Emissions aren’t the only concern. Bees and other native pollinators are in rapid decline, in part because of the pesticides and monocropping techniques used in industrial agriculture. Canada relies heavily on imported food — for instance, roughly 60 per cent of B.C.’s produce comes from the U.S. — meaning the country has little control over how its food is grown and transported. And at home, climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of droughts, floods and pests that can devastate crops. These are challenges the coalition hopes to help the federal government address. The report notes that “feeding the world’s increasing population sustainably in the context of climate change requires resilient and diverse food systems that minimize environmental impacts, protect and restore the ecosystem services that are vital to a thriving agricultural economy, and offer long-term solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation.” “Our recommendations detail the investments needed to make this and more happen to protect nature, tackle the climate emergency, and support jobs and communities through a green recovery,” said David Browne, the Green Budget Coalition co-chair and director of conservation for the Canadian Wildlife Federation, in a statement. Supporting ecological farming methods, enhancing pollinator and habitat conservation initiatives and supporting projects that rehabilitate wildlife habitats in disused or marginal agricultural land are the program’s key pillars. These initiatives should be aimed at supporting ecosystem services like clean water, pollination services and flood and drought control, the report says. Fisheries also play a key role in the coalition’s recommendations, including allocating more money for fisheries monitoring, creating more marine protected areas and riparian restoration initiatives and increasing fisheries science and management capacity. These shifts need to be paired with a range of economic and social supports for fish harvesters and coastal and Indigenous communities, like co-management frameworks or community quota and licence banks. That shift will come with a cost: roughly $445 million over five years for several fisheries and ocean protection programs and another $665 million for a suite of programs ranging from habitat restoration to public seed breeding to improving pesticide management and regulations. An additional reallocation of $1 million that’s currently allocated to the Business Risk Management and Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs, two key agricultural subsidies, is also among the coalition’s recommendations. These reallocations would aim to encourage a widespread transition to ecological farming and processing methods without cutting into farmers’ bottom lines — particularly important as Canadian farms are already struggling with soaring debt and land costs. They would also help the industry remain competitive on global markets. “Taking proactive steps now to address the practices that undermine environmental sustainability would shift the current risk of ecological standards to a competitive advantage for Canadian producers,” the document says. Nor are market pressures the only thing that should encourage Canada to shift towards sustainable agriculture. “(The pandemic) is forcing us to rethink what is really important and essential, and how we adapt when our food options are not as broad,” Brynne said. For instance, meat shortages have highlighted the vulnerabilities in the convoluted global supply chains feeding Canadians. That’s encouraged a reconsideration of how Canada’s farms and fisheries work, from land and water use to processing, distribution and marketing. “I’ve been promoting place-based food systems for a long time, not because they’re necessarily ethically superior — although I’d argue that in many ways they are — but because it’s only sensible to have secure sources of the basics of our diets as close at hand as possible. The pandemic demonstrated the wisdom of that approach.” It’s a goal that the coalition’s recommendations, if picked up by the federal government, will support — and not a moment too soon.Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
If Andrew Murray had his way, every building in Antigonish, N.S., would become a canvas for local murals."It's very, very important," he said. "To me, the more art the better."Murray is a town councillor and chair of Antigonish's beautification and land-rehabilitation committee. He also happens to be a mural artist himself.Since the pandemic hit, they've been trying to come up with ways to uplift the town.The committee decided to bring back an old mural contest that had been shelved for the last few years."We need cheerfulness," said Murray. "We need things to inspire us."Local artists submitted paintings based on themes including diversity, history and education. One will be turned into a photo mural, which will be installed on a local business."It's no coincidence that we're in the middle of this pandemic and people are doing everything they can to add some colour and life to our world because it can be pretty grim the last seven, eight months," said Murray."The timing was right."The beautification committee isn't the only group thinking art can make a difference to Antigonish.A few weeks ago, Micheal Burt, Daniel Burt, and Donnie Fraser of Trackside Studios painted a large mural that wraps around the back of the Antigonish 5¢ to $1 store.The store posted on its Facebook page that Heritage Canada contributed to the grant to pay for the piece.Already, it has drawn a lot of attention, said Murray. "That was so impactful because of the nature of its colour and the liveliness of it."The winner of this year's community contest will be picked in November. Murray said the committee will run the contest annually to keep filling up more blank canvases in the town.He's hoping by reviving the program, the community will add to the diversity of its art and inspire other local artists."It's win-win for everyone," he said. "It's beautifying the property owner's building. It's adding vibrancy and colour and creativity to the downtown area and showcasing our local artists all at the same time."MORE TOP STORIES
Any other season would have the Toronto Raptors' getting to know potential draft picks over intimate dinners in Toronto. With the travel restrictions around COVID-19, the Raptors haven't had the opportunity to bring players into their training facility in Toronto. "It's very different than what we're used to, I can tell you that," Dan Tolzman, the team's assistant GM and vice-president of player development, said Wednesday.
A father has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his infant son, Durham Regional Police announced Wednesday.According to a news release, a four-month-old child was taken to hospital with "unexplained injuries" in April of 2019."Tragically, the infant succumbed to his injuries days later," the news release reads.Police say that after a "lengthy" investigation that included working closely with the coroner's office, a 24-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night.He was charged with second-degree murder and is being held for a bail hearing.
Less than four years into his 10-year term, FBI Director Christopher Wray’s future in the job is decidedly uncertain heading into the presidential election. President Donald Trump has been escalating his rhetoric against Wray, angry over his public statements on issues like antifa, voting fraud and Russian election interference. With Washington abuzz about his possible dismissal, Wray and the FBI have engaged in a delicate balancing act as they address hot-button issues.
A new bill which formally recognizes First Nations police forces under policing legislation in Alberta proposes several changes to the province's justice system.Bill 38, the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, also enables the province to hold referendums and Senate elections in concert with municipal elections, allows courts to summon juries electronically, changes the way police grants are calculated for communities over 5,000 and enables the use of telephone and video conferencing for trials and hearings. The act also allows matters like entering an plea and setting a court date to be done by email, phone and other electronic means instead of requiring the accused, lawyers, judges and court staff to appear in court. Justice Minster Kaycee Madu said formal legislative recognition of First Nations police services means changes resulting from the current review of the Police Act will apply to them. On a practical level, the change will give these police services the ability to enforce the First Nation's bylaws, Madu said. "With this amendment they will now be able to issue that ticket and go to the court to enforce them rather than having to bring charges with respect to traffic violations," Madu said. "It is one problem that we have heard time and time again from our First Nations people."Insp. Farica Prince of the Blood Tribe Police Service in southern Alberta said Bill 38 is "first step towards equity for Indigenous police services.""Since our creation, we have faced many inequities that have made it difficult to provide the community with the service they deserve and our employees with the support they require," Prince said in an emailed statement. "We have not had access to the same resources or opportunities as our policing partners and we are significantly underfunded in comparison."Recognition under the Alberta Police Act empowers us to govern ourselves and it will provide a sense of stability and security, to the hard working people of our organization and to the community."The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the justice system to work in ways to keep people appropriately distanced and safe. Madu says the amendments in the bill build on that. "We have made a lot of changes to make sure that the citizens can still deal with the justice system [from] the comfort of their homes and offices and whatever they may be in our province," he said.Bill 38 also enables Alberta to hold senate elections and referendums in tandem with municipal elections.The bill aims to bring the Police Act in line with the rest of the Government of Alberta, by using population figures determined by Treasury Board and Finance for communities over 5,000. Population is one factor used in determining how much municipalities pay for policing. The government says the change in statistics is a housekeeping matter.
Around two-thirds of respondents in France (64%), Germany (67%) and Italy (68%) agreed not sufficient action was being taken in Europe. UK respondents agreed but in lower numbers (57%).View on euronews
Battleground states at the center of the US presidential battle are feeling the pressure to make voting safe and secure. The coronavirus pandemic, misinformation and voter intimidation top the issues of concerns. (Oct. 21)